Legislative Testimony for LB607: Increased Nail Technology Licensing
Chairwoman Howard and Vice Chair Arch, members of the committee. My name is Laura Ebke and I am the Senior Fellow for Job Licensing Reform at the Platte Institute.
LB 299, the Occupational Board Reform Act created a framework for the regular review—by the Legislature—of all occupational licenses created by the state.
The bill also re-affirmed a general policy where occupational licensing is concerned—established in the 407 process and explained in numerous documents that can be found on the DHHS Credentialing website—of regulating “only when necessary to protect the public.”
While LB 607 raises many questions about the need for additional licensing requirements, I want to talk specifically about changes in the manicuring and pedicuring portions of the bill.
The current status of the law, as noted on the DHHS Cosmetology and Esthetics currently notes that [quote]: “You do NOT need a Nebraska license to do…Manicure or pedicure of the natural nail.” [unquote]. This bill raises the standard for simple manicures and pedicures, and will undoubtedly require educational hours, as well as testing. The added cost to become licensed will very probably result in one or more of these things: 1) reduced practitioners in the field of manicures and pedicures; 2) increased costs to consumers; or 3) previously served populations becoming unserved.
LB 299 has established a framework whereby committees will review all licenses on a 5 year rotation. Since I don’t see a 407 review process having been done, I would encourage the Health and Human Services Committee to at least hold this bill in committee until next year, and include related licenses in the first year’s review during the coming interim, so that you can make a more objective, more fully informed, determination of need.
Questions that the Committee should ask before increasing the barriers for relatively low wage workers to earn a living should include:
- Is changing the scope of this license addressing a consumer need or a clearly demonstrated safety issue? Have there been complaints, or injuries, documented? How many?
- Can some of these concerns be addressed through inspections of places of business (for sanitation purposes), rather than through the licensing of those who may be working there?
- Could a requirement for liability insurance for the business address whatever risk remains for businesses that practice manicures and pedicures?
The Platte Institute is concerned about efforts to create licensing requirements that didn’t exist previously, or increasing licensing requirements without demonstrated need. We oppose this bill, at least until a thoughtful review process is able to better gauge the need.
Thank you, and I’d be happy to take any questions.